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Along with PolitiFact Florida, 10 News put Florida politicians' statements about negative ads to the Truth-O-Meter

6:25 PM, Feb 20, 2012   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida - Negative ads seem to be the way candidates are getting their messages across this political season.

While it may seem like you've seen more this year, that may not actually be true. Along with PolitiFact Florida, we put two Florida politicians' statements about negative ads to the truth-o-meter.

"[Political ads are] how a lot of voters get their information, there's a lot of money behind the ads. Whenever there's an ad, if we hear about it, we're probably gonna have a fact check on it," says Angie Holan with PolitiFact Florida.

A recent fact check by PolitiFact Florida was on a statement by South Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz: "Romney's campaign has already spent more on negative ads than John McCain did during his entire presidential run."

Holan says that would mean Romney would have already outspent the entire general election. So fact checkers looked at the numbers.

"Romney spent about $15.4 million in the primary back in 2008, John McCain spent $140 million for the entire election."

The DNC says the congresswoman misspoke, and meant to say 'primary.' But since she made the statement, PolitiFact Florida rates it: FALSE.

"No candidate in American history has ever run more negative ads than Barack Obama. And I don't think that's going to change in 2012."

That's a statement by Florida Senator Marco Rubio made on CNN during Florida's primary.

"What we found is that yes, Obama did spend the most on negative ads. But it's because he spent the most on ads overall. He spent about $300 million in advertising for the entire election," says Holan, who adds that Obama's ads were not significantly more negative than McCain's.

PolitiFact Florida's rating on Rubio's statement is: Mostly True.

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